Jacob Day 25
The weather is gorgeous these days and the traffic is mild as I commute to the City by the Bay. These past few sessions have been fantastic. Jacob has pulled out of that dyslexic fog and is back to being a “rock star”, as his mom likes to call him.
Jacob is processing information easily and quickly. You would never even know he has ever struggled in school. The only thing that trips him up is the eye tracking. His slump seems to have passed completely, which is a relief, but I know that any time he could falter again. I just don’t know if I have the strength to hold Michelle’s hand through it again. Oh well. I’ll worry about that later…if it happens.
We have only been working together for a few months, but it seems as if we’ve been together forever. We have our little routine and all is calm and easy. Jacob is reading the second Harry Potter book, and he doesn’t want to stop to work. He marks his place for later, and he easily tells me information about the book. He is definitely comprehending what he read. Not bad for a third grader, I think to myself. I have read the Harry Potter books, and some of the words are quite difficult to read. Some of the concepts, too, but Jacob is enthralled with the magical world of Hogwarts.
We are transitioning from focusing on reading to switching to writing, although I will still provide phonemic awareness and tracking exercises for him. I have Jacob write a sample so that I can see where he is and where he needs to go. Today Jacob wants to write about me. I get him started and run to the restroom, thinking that he will maybe have a word or two written down because he has been very resistent to writing of any kind. When I get back, this is what I find:
Mrs. Lisa is sweat.
She gives me stuff.
And she loves me to.
I wish I could pae her back.
I love Mrs. Lisa.
I am touched by what he wrote, of course, but I am really thrilled that he could write a paragraph, albeit quite simple, so quickly with just a few spelling mistakes. I am especially pleased that he didn’t fuss and that he did it all by himself. I make a note to myself to work on more complex sentences, and I take the paragraph home. Sometimes when we are on a journey with a child, we need to have these tokens that will help get us through the rougher days.
I am glad for the progress that Jacob is making, but Michelle walks in with yet another look of horror on her face, wearing the blue jogging suit that has been my warning sign that she is falling into a depression over Jacob.
Oh. Dear. Bring out that cheerleader.
And then I hear it. One of the boys from Jacob’s old school has been reading Shakespeare. Michelle couldn’t resist the temptation to see if Jacob could do it as well and she broke out some Shakespeare. Of course, Jacob struggled with the difficult words and names, and this threw her into a tailspin.
I explain to her that most third graders would also struggle with Shakespeare and that they would hate reading it. “I hate reading it, so why wouldn’t they?” I ask her. “Throw the Shakespeare away,” I say. “ It isn’t helping anything. His Shakespeare days will come, just not right now.”
Michelle feels better. We parents all have these moments where we want it all for our children and we want it now. It is so frustrating to sit back and wait, to relax and trust that everything will be OK. We start worrying and fussing over these little people the moment they are born, and it’s hard to stop. I remind her once again how little Jacob could read a few short months ago, to trust me, and to trust the process. She shoots me that half-sincere smile. She can only see the cup as half empty right now. I understand. I have been there.